The title of this post comes from the motto Coach Eric Taylor’s team recites before every football game in the show Friday Night Lights. It’s a show I wouldn’t have expected to like because I’m not a particularly big football fan, but I’ve been hooked for the past several years. One of the things I appreciate about Coach Taylor (other than the fact that he is played by Kyle Chandler who I’ve had a crush on ever since he was in Early Edition) is that he has a clear sense of vision and purpose for his team. On the surface of it, I envy the deceptively simple task Coach Taylor has- win football games. But, as with every good story and with life, there are all sorts of complications that arise- for his players, for his family, and for himself. Despite the team’s chant, they do lose sometimes and have to work through the loss.
Since watching Friday Night Lights and reading Russ Goerend’s post about his mantra for the year, I’ve been pondering what my mantra for the year might be. I spent some time reading back through the reflections I’ve jotted in my planners over the past couple year to see if anything stood out. I started to notice that I consistently felt good about things when I got them done with plenty of time to spare, and I consistently felt bad about the occasions I’d wasted time. It was helpful to see this written down. Time after time kicking myself for not getting enough sleep (my most chronic habit of unpreparedness) or leaving comment writing until the day before they were due. Present bias is so easy to fall into. But it was also encouraging to see that there were places I had improved. In the final trimester of last year, I’d worked diligently on comments and grades and completed them a full day ahead of schedule. It was a small thing, but after I finished, I felt like this kid….
So this year, I’m taking a cue from the Boy Scouts and going with the motto- Be prepared. I’m not so naive as to think that I can be consciously prepared for everything that will happen at school this year, but I think preparing for the easy, knowable things will help make the harder, less knowable things more manageable.